122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) file photo [7835]

122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) Field Gun

Country of OriginRussia
TypeField Gun
Caliber121.920 mm
Length5.900 m
Barrel Length2.800 m
Weight2250.000 kg
Ammunition Weight21.76 kg
Rate of Fire5 rounds/min
Range11.795 km
Muzzle Velocity500 m/s


ww2dbaseThe 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns were designed by F. F. Petrov of the design bureau of Motovilikha Plants in the late 1930s to replace the recently modernized 122-millimeter howitzers in the Russian arsenal that were of pre-WW1 designs. The design was accepted in Sep 1939 after defeating rival designs. The design addressed the shortcomings of the WW1-era predecessors directly: their advanced split trail carriages with leaf spring suspension systems and rubber tires greatly improved the towing capabilities, while the longer barrel increased the effective range. Mass production began in 1940 at No. 9 in Sverdlovsk and after 1940 also in Plant No. 92 in Gorky, both in Russia. Barrels of this design were mounted on T-34 hulls to create the SU-122 self-propelled assault guns. Marshal G. F. Odintsov commented "[n]othing can be better" after witnessing firing practices involving these guns.

When Germany invaded Russia in Jun 1941, 1,667 The 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns were in service, which was still a minority. However, increased production meant that by 1943 they would become the most numerous howitzers of the Russian Army. They were mainly used as indirect fire weapons against troop concentrations and field fortifications, though when necessary they also fired directly against advancing German tanks after High explosive anti-tank shells were developed in 1943.

A number of these guns were captured by the Germans, who pressed them into service with the designation 12.2 cm s.F.H.396(r) heavy howitzers. Finnish forces captured 41 guns of this type and employed them under the designation 122 H 38; Finnish troops reported great liking to these guns, and kept them in service until the mid-1980s.

After WW2, Russia supplied 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns to friendly nations such as Egypt and Syria. Communist China's Type 54 howitzers were reportedly developed based on the M-30 design given by Russia.

Between 1940 and 1945, a total of 17,526 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field guns were built. An additional 1,740 were built between 1946 and 1955, bring the grand total to 19,266. Detailed production figures are show below.


In 1960, they were replaced by the 122 mm Howitzer D-30.

Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: May 2009


Soviet STZ-3 tractors towing 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) guns, Jun 1941Russian 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) field gun at rest, circa 1940s

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Soviet STZ-3 tractors towing 122 mm Howitzer M1938 (M-30) guns, Jun 1941
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